Democratic Candidate for State House of Representatives District 23 – Mänoa, Punahou, University, Mö‘ili‘ili

First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude for this opportunity to state our views and provide your readership information to make an informed choice in the upcoming election.

I spent my career in the global bond markets. My work took me to the bond market hubs of New York, London and Tökyö, my last stop, where I lived and worked for 10 years. I feel particularly fortunate at a personal level to have had the opportunity to live and work in the country of my ancestors. Like most local Japanese, the perceptions of my motherland were limited to every day culture developed from watching samurai movies at Toyo Theatre and Channel 13 when there was nothing good on the other three stations.

My previous visits to Japan as a tourist did little to enlighten me on the true Japanese soul. After living in the country for 10 years, the essential qualities of the people there are quite obvious to me: kindness, gentility, empathy for others, honesty, humility — qualities we still retain here to some degree in

The same virtues can also be applied to traditional Hawaiian culture, virtues which enabled a harmonious blending of the Gannenmono with the people of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. A bond that endures today. Values that we all shared with our Chinese, Filipino and Korean brethren from the plantation days. Aloha. A word many use, but few truly understand the spirit of.

We are currently experiencing the most divisive of times in this country. History will describe our current culture in terms of selfishness, meanness, materialism, inequality. It’s critical for us to maintain our traditional values during a time when much of the rest of the country has lost their way.

The development of a culture’s language is telling in regards to the values of that culture. There’s no phrase in the Japanese language to say, “You’re wrong.” They say chigau — “It’s different.” A gentler, kinder way to disagree. Can’t we all just agree that sometimes things are just chigau?


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